Monday night, the Shelton City Commission took action to reconfigure the two-block stretch of Franklin Avenue between Safeway and the Mason Transit-Community Center. This will change Franklin back to its original configuration.
In the spring of 2015, the City reconfigured a section of Franklin Street, from 5th Street to 7th Street, between Safeway and the Mason Transit Authority. The two-way road was converted to a one-way street to facilitate bus traffic and riders. Two eastbound lanes were designated as bus-only lanes. The third lane was reserved for general motorist traffic, and a section of angled parking spaces were added on the north side of Franklin Street.
After careful consideration, and having received mostly negative feedback from the public, the City Commission approved final proposals to return Franklin Street back to a two-way street in the Monday, May 15th commission meeting. The lane next to MTA will remain an eastbound bus-only lane with a 4-foot buffer lane between the bus-only lane and the two-way road way. The lane closest to Safeway will return to a westbound general motorist lane. The angled parking spaces will be removed and additional parallel parking will be added. The crosswalks connecting MTA and Safeway will remain in the same location, however, the flashing crosswalk signals will be removed due to underutilization.
There have been a number of public safety concerns with the existing road layout on this section of Franklin Street. Due to its understandably confusing configuration, vehicles often pull out of the Safeway parking lot traveling in the wrong direction in the one-way zone, and pedestrians typically fail to cross the street in the crosswalks. Returning the street to its original two-way configuration will help to alleviate some of that confusion. Additionally, eastbound traffic turning right onto 5th Street will no longer be required to traverse two one-way bus lanes in order to do so. In response to a number of safety concerns related to the school zone on Wallace Kneeland Boulevard, City staff has proposed that the flashing crosswalk signals from Franklin Street be relocated adjacent to Oakland Bay Junior High School.